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Maharashtra Govt takes 80% beds in private hospitals, caps treatment charges

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

In a crack down on private hospitals, the Maharashtra government took control of over 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and also capped treatment charges for COVID-19 and other illnesses in these hospitals on Friday.

Amid reports of hospitals in Maharashtra refusing admission to coronavirus patients and overcharging, the Maharashtra government issued orders for taking control of 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and nursing homes in the state.

Private hospitals will now have 20 per cent beds for which they are allowed to charge their own rates, while 100 per cent of the ICU beds and 80 per cent others will be regulated by the Maharashtra government. The price capping will stay in effect till 31 August,2020.

With the new order by the state government, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will have access to additional 417 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients and 538 for non-Covid at government rates. Nearly 2,624 beds for Covid-19 patients and 3,020 beds for non-Covid will now be available in 33 hospitals.

The BMC also stated that the 1,000-bed quarantine facility for Covid-19 patients at MMRDA, Bandra in North West Mumbai, will be functional with 56 beds from 24 May onwards. A set of 56 beds will be added every subsequent day. “The Asian Heart Institute” which is located close to this facility will be dove-tailed as ICU for the facility, till the time the 200-bed ICU facility being set up becomes fully functional.

BMC Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal said an additional pool of 2,000 Covid beds is being created in the next three days at ward officer level. For every 100 beds in the ward, there will be 20 ICUs. Chahal said this will spruce up bed availability by utilising the ‘80:20’ order applicable to all other hospitals, nursing homes, clinics in the BMC area. The BMC’s order also mentions that testing for Covid suspected patients to be ramped up substantially and BMC Municipal Commissioner will himself be visiting laboratories for the same.

There have been cases in the past where coronavirus positive patients died due to lack of beds in Covid-dedicated hospitals, late hospitalisation or delayed treatment for the deadly infection.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise unabated in Mumbai, the state government has deputed IAS officers to major hospitals in the city for effective management of the outbreak. An IAS officer each has been deputed to KEM, Nair, Sion, JJ-GT-St George and BMC’s Periphereal hospitals for effective management of the outbreak.

The duties set for these IAS officers holding charge of the hospitals involve: Immediate setting up of war room in each government hospital, CCTV live view of all ICU beds and COVID-19 wards, ensuring attendance of doctors, nurses and para-medicals, especially late night and early morning.

Real time data upload every 30 minutes on Bed Management dashboard, strict implementation of discharge policy (to ensure no patient overstays once tested negative), to provide unique ID code to each bed are the other stipulations. Dashboards to allot beds with bed number on call to 1916, to ensure quality food packets to patients and their relatives (by ensuring daily stocking of food/biscuits in canteens through NGOs which are put in place) and to ensure cleanliness and upkeep and minor maintenance are the other issues.

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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